In response to the previous comment:
The BOG assumes the same self-serving logical fallacy as I am afraid you also have in this instance. They world is a very large place and therefore must rely on systems of government and education that condense some of the larger complexities down to methods by which trends can be identified and transmitted to students. Yes, that is a central concept of pedagogy. However, there are two sides to every story, and any righteous educator deserving of the name understands that communities within a democracy are charged with addressing the issues that are pertinent to their constituent members--this basically is the entire concept of representation.
Of all the places I've travelled in the irony is that here in North Carolina, with so much diversity and potential (and for all the talk of freedom, "markets" and diversity!), there is one persistent, ineradicable thread of irreducibility (and above all in the field of education) that cries: what's good for me is the best, therefore it is good for you. This article's author again places the state leadership squarely in the crosshairs of scrutiny and correctly ascertains that the protection of the status quo is the painfully obvious motive behind the decisions that characterize the institutions of our state's people as blind, cruel and underdeveloped. Should we not begin to think of this great "catalyst" as a great manufacturer of poverty? In order to centralize dogma you'll need control, but more importantly, consensus. Take that as you will, but don't take so far!
As usual, the proof is in the pudding. At an even greater fault are the professors and students who continue to act out of fear and misinterpret the BOG's gnashing of teeth as an even better reason to spit out their emasculating mantras of "liberal economics" and so-called democracy when anyone can see the opposite taking place at every last turn, creating EVEN more competition for the sort of dead-end industries that the ultra-wealthy call growth the world over. Civil rights have never been eroded at such a rate as they are today. Must we watch these literally anti-american institutions break our rules from the sidelines and continue to chew our tobacco until the day the final inning ends? States rights arguments also extend to intrastate regions, counties and communities, who must be able to determine the needs their students should address. If that wasn't the case why would we need a system in the first place?
This article by Bob Geary has dug deeper than ever into the cultural and governmental issues that continue to pose a threat to the economic and social health of our communities in North Carolina. When he states that "once on the job it helps to pair know-how with thinking skills," Bob is essentially addressing a major disconnect between the project of technological advancement and the goal of creating a stable and more just society. An ancient proverb states that what is good must also be just, or else it is meaningless. We are at a stage in human history where more people are getting a college education, and less are truly prepared to survive as citizens and/or professionals in it (http://www.vice.com/read/heres-what-happen…).
The problem here is not the "butts in seats." Those butts are (on the whole) compassionate, thinking, feeling, questioning, working people. The main issue at hand, which in case you have not been paying attention is quite serious and introduces an advanced level of peril to the health of our collected intellect as well as to our status as a democracy here on planet earth, is that the world in this instance is massively unfair. It sounds dumb, I know, but I must point out that, for our leaders to combat ignorance as Bob proposes in this article, they will have to become radically different people from who they are today, or at the very least, begin to exhibit the behaviors that might identify them as such. The military-techno-industrial complex has no effect more fundamental to its existence (and therefore no cause, despite what rhetoric and measurable positive outcomes may be observed from its operations worldwide, and despite what statistical errors may allow for the advancement of true success, benefitting most) than the continual reinstitution of the established social order.
In short, the world is imploding upon itself. The so-called wealthy spend more time and resources now to protect their dwindling supply of the very same. Meanwhile the middle class is eroded and the poor are left to their own devices. This is evidence of a maladjustment of our philosophy; and of our leadership. The state's educational leaders (by virtue of being at the very least to a large portion incumbent thanks to their affiliation with established, even entrenched social constituencies: read old boys club) are unfortunately ill-equipped with adequate perspective enough to grasp this fundamental change in the order of economy worldwide. Read comfortable. Read privilege.
This is to say, that the unchecked stratification of job possibilities for the newly minted intellectual or scientist (and if not even more so for the seasoned worker) has accomplished the great task of rendering our society functionally bankrupt. Here, the ability to think critically is not in question. Rather it is the ability to empathize and ultimately eschew such overly-selfish behavior that aims to produce more and more (dare I say it?) innovation, success, excellence and above all novelty that it thinks forever only of itself. A society of middlemen, cut out by the ever-diminishing above to increase the ever-proliferating below. This is the project of the ultra-right, the mainstream media and the political establishment. If you're reading this then you've statistically zero chance being one of them.
Pollution, scarcity, and economic instability through inequality are the products of a social order that protects itself too much, giving us more and more JD's and MD's and less human citizens with real skills. The behavior of a society that has been given right-of-way for so long in the interest of deeply unjust racial and class prejudices will fail to perceive its fatal flaws until its own undoing weighs upon us. The ineptitude of our government to address this atrocity, this perversion of humanity and of law, is now beyond identifiable as a mere toxic byproduct of a self-important will-to-power, for it is hundreds of years in the making.
The main problem with the current energy marketplace without "jumping right in" to the deregulation argument, and so by way of brief preamble, is the size of the profit being made vs. the comparable return on investment from the standpoint of the consumer. For now, we're still getting the same service we always have. But energy security advocates take the fact that NC has become #2 in the nation for solar power (mostly in the form of large solar farms, and arguably only in spite of a cumbersome, even hostile utility incumbent), to signify a phase shift incipient through tour region necessitating a vast and popular overhaul of our most basic organization of electrical energy usage. But what happens when fossil fuels scarcity becomes the norm? In SC Duke has sought to be named the sole proprietor of solar services through regulation. It is difficult to argue given the one sidedness of the current administration's energy alignment that the continued protection of antiquated coal-gen and other climate-dangerous practices ( at the pronounced and disdainful exclusion of mainstream distributed resources) will not place us all in jeopardy if and when the grid is failed by it's very own self-determined keepers.
The basic nature of solar and other DG is to transform the energy production out of the centralized monolithic corporate model and rewild the landscape in different manifestations as appropriate to each site and it's population's need. Many experts in smart grid today say that energy independence/resilience means that the IOU of the 20th century will become more of an asset management platform to coordinate the safety and optimization between widespread facilities pertaining to the mainstream of individuals and small businesses. That's right: you own the power production and the utility works like a clearing heuse to smooth out production from DG & storage. It sounds like a lot, but the change is happening everywhere now; even state-level regulators who were once bearish are beginning to fall for solar, EV storage and other consumer marketplace technology available to the discerning investor.
In short, nothing lasts forever. It is therefore the explicit duty for the 'natural monopoly' of power generation-cum-transmission to evolve in the service of safety (think climate?) and service. Coal-based economic isolationism is only going to get more expensive, more pollutive, more unhealthy. We have a choice.
Even without using the M word it's still no challenge to examine the glaring connections between the corporation in question and members of the state government. When one does so it should be clear that while nobody can argue against Duke's place in the utilities hierarchy as necessarily strong, we all deface our credibility when we allow disasters such as the Dan river spill to provide the only criteria to bring up for discussion the increasingly overt alignment on the part of the state with a single special interest. Were we truthfully the free democratic society we claim to be all over the world, here in NC we might owe each other the basic dignity to be gained by questioning the connections present between Duke and the state and ask ourselves furthermore who really stands to gain when the one makes a profit and the other gets poisoned. It may take time for the leadership in our state to awaken to the reality that the corruption of pollution causes climate insecurity and ecological disaster, but it will take much longer if we turn a blind eye to its activities when both our choices and our futures are at stake.
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